In sheep and goats, amino acid nutrition is essential for the maintenance of health and productivity. In this review, we analysed literature, mostly from the past two decades, focusing on assessment of amino acid requirements, especially on the balance of amino acid profiles between ruminal microbial protein and animal production protein (foetal growth, body weight gain, milk and wool). Our aim was to identify amino acids that might limit genetic potential for production. We propose that much attention should be paid to amino acid nutrition of individuals with greater abilities to produce meat, milk or wool, or to nourish large litters. Moreover, research is warranted to identify interactions among amino acids, particularly these amino acids that can send positive and negative signals at the same time.